Minsk: ‘When the fern blooms’ was the main element in a colourful and distinctive opening ceremony of the 2nd European Games in Minsk, Belarus.
Produced by Igor Krutoy and Ceremony Director Alexey Sechenov the opening ceremony was a performance of a journey to the core of the traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage of Belarus.
The 25,000 spectators present at the Dynamo Stadium were transported through the time-honored traditions, rites and development of the Belarusian people.
There was a performance of the Presidential Orchestra and the National Academic People's Orchestra named after Iosif Zhinovich conducted by Viktor Babarikin with the state flag of Belarus brought in by 14 children in national costumes representing the six regions of the country - Brest Oblast, Vitebsk Oblast, Gomel Oblast, Grodno Oblast, Minsk Oblast, Mogilev Oblast - and the city of Minsk.
Following the parade of over 4000 athletes from 50 European countries the President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko and the President of the European Olympic Committees Janez Kocijancic officially opened the 2nd Edition of the European Games.
The highlight of The Opening Ceremony was The Flame of Peace relay race which started in Rome on the 3rd May and in 50 days the torch travelled for over 7,000 km on its way to Minsk. The flame was taken to the highest peak in Europe – Mont Blanc going through Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, and Poland before it travelled all over Belarus arriving on the night of the 21st June at the Dynamo Stadium.